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Painting Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park (redirect)

The post Painting Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park (redirect) appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Level of Commitment

Plein air artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park Through the Eyes of an artist,” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature” and “Everything You Need to Know about Plein Air Painting,” travels with his vintage trailer throughout America’s western landscapes painting stunning vistas on location with oils on canvas. He adds finishing touches to his paintings of wildlife, western landscapes and National parks, portraits and still life in his studio in Mount Shasta, California. Through Stefan Baumann’s fine art oil paintings and his captivating painting style, the American tradition of Romantic Realism with Luminism comes to life, thrilling art collectors and investors in the United States and internationally.

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Be Prepared to Paint

Ashland Barn” by Stefan Baumann

 

Last week I was traveling in Medford, Oregon, prepared to paint with my brushes, paints, and canvases in my truck, when I took an unexpected turn off the freeway onto a quiet country road. It had been raining and a magnificent cloud formation with impressive effects of light covered the sky. I drove by an old pear orchard, and noticed a beautiful pear tree covered with blossoms that had an old barn as a backdrop. As I came closer to the tree, the sky opened and a beam of sunlight lit up the metal roof on the barn creating a dramatic moment of contrasting lights and darks. I pulled over quickly, gathered my painting supplies, and began mixing my foundation color. An artist must always be prepared to paint when inspiration strikes. A writer has sharp pencils and paper in a shirt pocket to jot down notes. A cook always has a collection of spices in his kitchen ready to create the next culinary extravaganza. The artist must have supplies at hand to be able to catch the moment of inspiration and transfer it to canvas. A travel bag outfitted with these basic essentials will serve you well whenever you want to create: red, yellow, and blue paint, a palette, canvas, brushes, turpentine, and paper towels. Like a good scout, it pays to be prepared for anything.

Being prepared to paint does not take the work and discomfort out of painting on location. If we remembered all the obstacles we may encounter outdoors, such as the weather, changing light, difficulties with sketching and composition, inhospitable insects, and changing temperatures, we would probably talk ourselves out of it and never do it again. If you boldly go where so many would never go, be kind to yourself. Have reasonable expectations of what you can accomplish. Give yourself applause for venturing outdoors to try your best to paint what you see and love. You can always wipe it off after you give your best effort. Or you can remember that painting, as in any art, requires practice to learn how to do it. Without the struggle, successes would not be as valuable and exciting.

What stops you from painting? Sometimes artists worry about not painting “good enough,” negatively compare themselves with others and feel inferior, or are embarrassed or ashamed because they cannot paint the masterpiece that they dream of creating. Knowledge comes from practicing and making mistakes, as awkward and frustrating as it is, and artists must be willing to make 100 mistakes on their canvases before they can begin to know how to paint well. Try not to judge your success by the finished piece. The experience that happens in your imagination as you paint is what counts. As you intentionally practice the discipline of painting, remember also to enjoy the pleasure of painting by exploring the possibilities of what you can do with color, shapes, composition, and light. At the end of the day, sharing your imagination, feelings, and experiences through art is worthy and important as a way of communicating and connecting person to person.

 

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Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas, capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American style used to paint the Western landscape. He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs, filmed on location in the National Parks, are the very best on the art instruction market.

The post Be Prepared to Paint appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Plein Air Painting of Asilomar at Sunset

                                                    “Asilomar at Sunset”   It’s Tuesday, Day Two of the Plein Air Convention in Monterey, and all I can say is “WOW!” Eric Rhoads and the Plein Air Magazine staff are presenting a convention that is over the top.  This event has the best organization, the best presentations and the largest number of noted plein air artists in the same location than I have ever experienced, and I’m so glad I’m here. And, I never thought so many artists would recognize me from “The Grand View” PBS show, but it is a blast that they do. The first three days are filled with instruction and workshops that are taught by prominent plein air artists.  I attended an excellent Marketing Boot camp this morning presented by Eric Rhoads.  He and other contributors provided tips and strategies to increase the sale of paintings as well as increasing an artist’s visibility with the art collecting community through websites, face book and other popular Social Medias. I painted this ocean scene near Asilomar at sunset today. It’s a plein air painting of Asilomar Beach and I wanted to capture the spectacular beauty of the Monterey coastline and the dynamic action of the waves as they crashed against the rocks. The movement of the waves changed the lighting continuously and made the scene very challenging to paint. Several other artists were at the same location and it was interesting to see what they included in their paintings as we swapped a few tips about what we learned during the day. In this convention, careful attention is given to creating and nurturing a sense of camaraderie and support among the artists who have varying levels of experience, as well as encouraging everyone to paint with a spirit of exploration, excitement, and friendliness.  From what I experienced, I think they achieved their mission. I hope your will come to the Plein Air Convention next year and enjoy all aspects of plein air painting at its best.    

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Plein air and alla prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of  the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world.  He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly American style used to paint the Western landscape.  He can be seen plein air painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

The post Plein Air Painting of Asilomar at Sunset appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Plein Air Painting at Carmel Mission

“Carmel Mission in Morning Light”

It’s Monday, I’m in Monterey, California, and I went out before the Plein Air Convention opened to paint the effects of morning light on Carmel Mission.This is one of my favorite structures to paint. This morning was one of those mornings when everything went right, including the lighting. Plein air painting seashore towns along the coast in the morning can be tricky because fog can impair visibility, making the locations impossible to see. As you can see in my painting, the light illuminated the Mission magnificently today.

Many of the top plein air painters attend the Plein Air Convention, and I look forward to connecting with artists that I met last year, hearing about what’s new in art and marketing in the training sessions, and it will be exciting to meet fans of our PBS show “The Grand View.”   I will be sending updates and discuss topics that interest outdoor painters.

BTW, you may want to “save the date” in your calendar for next year’s Fourth Plein Air Convention so that you can attend this exciting, interactive event for plein air painters. For now, enjoy this little sketch that I painted this morning.  It’s my gift to you to start your week with an inspiring painting and an invitation to “Go out and paint.”

 _________________________________________________

Plein air and alla prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of  the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world.  He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly  American style used to paint the Western landscape.  He can be seen plein air painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks  are the very best on the market.

The post Plein Air Painting at Carmel Mission appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

My Favorite Tools

Tools I use in my art include  not only pens and pencils and rulers, but also technology. I use an iPod Touch as my camera and photoshop to make sure my photos look like the real thing when I post them on my blog.

Tools I use in my art include not only pens and pencils and rulers, but also technology. I use an iPod Touch as my camera and Photoshop to make sure my photos look like the real thing when I post them on my blog.

For the month of March, I shared a tool a day on my Facebook page. It was fun watching people’s reactions over the course of the month. The responses I received have encouraged me to share with you some of my favorite tools. I hope you find it interesting.

These are my four essential tools: bone folder, Olfa knife, straight edge and cutting mat.

These are my four essential tools: bone folder, Olfa knife, straight edge and cutting mat.

My top four essential tools for the overwhelming majority of my paper arts are bone folders, my trusty Olfa knife, my cutting mats and a good quality straight edge. At least one (if not all) of these tools see use on a daily basis. And with all four, I can do almost any of my paper projects.

This is my favorite ink pot. It's just the perfect depth for dipping my pens into.

This is my favorite ink holder. I just learned that it’s called an inkwell and that what it’s held in is known as an inkstand. It’s just the perfect depth for dipping my pens into.

As a calligrapher, I find myself using ink a lot with my dip pens. Dipping my pen into the bottle of ink is usually messy. This my favorite ink holder. It was left to me by a dear friend many years ago. I believe it’s an antique. I love to use my inkwell because the ink is just the right depth and I don’t get it all over my fingers (quite as much) as when I use the ink bottle itself.

I use quite a variety of pencils, including double pencils.

I use quite a variety of pencils, including double pencils.

I use so many pencils, lots of different pencils for different projects. Most of you, unless you are fellow calligraphers, probably haven’t made or used double pencils. My double pencils are the ones on the right, held together with rubber bands.

Double pencils are used for practicing calligraphy to see more clearly if you have the correct pen angle, branching and other things calligraphers are so interested in improving. I’ve photographed the pencils on a piece of my practice paper I filled with my double pencils.

For seeing tiny details, these are great.

For seeing tiny details, these are great.

Okay, I have to admit it. Sometimes, such as when I am working with tiny lettering or cutting tiny pieces out of a piece of paper, I need to see just a little more clearly. A magnifying glass requires the use of one of my hands and I usually need both for my projects. So, here are the glasses I use in my home studio. I have purple ones for my studio at the Ashland Art Center. They don’t need to be colorful, but it’s fun that they are.

When I need to punch a hole, or lots of holes, this Japanese Hole Punch can't be beat.

When I need to punch a hole, or lots of holes, this Japanese Hole Punch can’t be beat.

My Japanese Hole Punch has interchangeable punches that enable me to punch from 1mm to 4mm holes in paper. I don’t know what I ever did without this tool.

This is my board shear. It will cut paper or mat board or davy board.

This is my board shear. It will cut paper or mat board or davy board.

This is my “paper cutter.” It’s actually a board shear that I bought and had to have shipped from the east coast. It has a foot pedal to clamp down and hold the paper or board while it is cut. I can cut paper or boards for making books up to 29″ in length (or width).

This board shear is what I use to cut the paper I use to make my Earth Spirit Vessels. In the board shear right now is the black paper I’m cutting for my next vessel. The paper starts out 18-3/4″ by 24-3/4″ with four deckled edges. After I’ve squared it and cut the width to 18″,  I’ll cut it into 4″ by 18″ strips, then cut those strips into 2″ by 4″ pieces of paper ready to fold.

This is my camera. It's actually an iPod Touch that I use as my camera. Most all of the photos in my blog have been taken with my iPod Touch.

This is my camera. It’s actually an iPod Touch with a camera built in. Most all of the photos in my blog have been taken with my iPod Touch.

One of my tools is my iPod Touch’s camera which I use to photograph my art. I set up a large piece of watercolor paper in the corner of my living room where there are both east and south facing windows. I put the subject of the photo on it and use my iPod Touch for my camera. This photo is of my one of my latest vessels. In this photo the top row of folded paper hasn’t been glued to the rest of the vessel. If you look closely at the photo, you can see that it’s not quite straight.

People don't usually think of cattails as tools, but they make great inexpensive pens.

People don’t usually think of cattails as tools, but they make great inexpensive pens.

Cattails make great inexpensive pens. I made around 25 of them and taught calligraphy to a 6th grade class once. The teacher had ink and paper, but no pens and no money to buy pens. So I went out and picked cattails. Using a knife, I cut the cattail to make an edged pen point. Put the cattail in ink, then write. By changing the width of the edge, you can make your “pens” write differently. It can be a fun change, even for professional calligraphers.

My book press might be small, but it's just perfect for my purposes.

My book press might be small, but it’s just perfect for my purposes.

When I’m making books, my book press comes in very handy. Before I had my book press I had to resort to hauling around heavy books and various weights. I even went so far as to purchase 50 pounds of lead shot which I stored in plastic vitamin jars (once the vitamins were gone, of course). They still come in handy when I am trying to weigh something down, like gluing the burl wood bases for my Earth Spirit Vessels. Though I don’t think I need need quite so many.

Which doesn't belong, yellow coat hanger, knitting needles or lead shot as one of my paper arts tools?

Which doesn’t belong, yellow coat hanger, knitting needles or lead shot as one of my paper arts tools?

I have a reputation, within my family, for using things as tools in ways they weren’t originally made for. The lead shot I used for weights is one example. Another was the knitting needles I used in bookbinding before I had my metal edged boards to make indentations, or creases, for the opening of hardback books. So when I put 25 yellow plastic clothes hangers on my Christmas Wish List one year, my parents wondered how I was planning on using them in bookbinding, and why they needed to be yellow. The fact that I actually wanted to use them for their intended purpose never occurred to them.

I have a friend who sometimes wants to borrow tools. He has learned to describe the tool in detail without naming it, because I may have it, but know it only as a bookbinding or paste paper tool.  Examples include a carpenters square, wood chisels, calipers and putty knives, which I have finally learned the official names for. There are many others which are simply “my bookbinding tools.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some of the tools I use in my paper art.

Happy creating, Candy

Paper Lotus Flowers

2014 Lotus Flower 1

 

During 2011, I made at least one paper Lotus Flower each day for the entire year. It was a very hectic year for me. Making a paper Lotus Flower requires a great deal of calm and patience. If I’m not in a peaceful state of mind, the paper will tear when I fold it. Making a Lotus Flower a day for the year ensured that I would have about an hour of peaceful meditative time every day. I came to look forward to it.

 

2014 Lotus Flower 2

 

Today, I still make paper Lotus Flowers and still enjoy the peace and tranquility that comes to me as I sit and fold my flower. I no longer make one a day, but I will still make time to make paper Lotus Flowers when the urge comes. It has become a form of meditation for me.

 

2014 Lotus Flower 3

 

I use a variety of papers to make my paper Lotus Flowers. The above Lotus Flower was made using a beautiful red and gold Japanese paper with white and black cranes and a textured gold paper.

 

2014 Lotus Flower 4

 

The above paper Lotus Flower was made from a piece of hand marbled paper I was given years ago. I knew it needed to be made into something special. It reminds me of the saying, “April Showers bring May Flowers.”

 

2014 Lotus Flower 5

 

I made this paper Lotus Flower for all my music loving family and friends. I had to buy lots of music paper and make lots of these because I know so very many music lovers.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Bunny Bookmarks Kids Can Make

This Bunny Bookmark is made out of a corner of an envelope that was headed to the recycle bin.

This Bunny Bookmark is made out of a corner of an envelope that was headed to the recycle bin.

These darling little bookmarks are made from the corners of envelopes. In my case, envelopes that would have otherwise ended up in my recycle bin. These bookmarks are super easy to make and a perfect craft project to do with children.

Here are two Bunny Bookmarks before they are put on the page of a book.

Here are two Bunny Bookmarks before they are put on the page of a book.

 

 

 

And this shows the back side of one of the Bunny Bookmarks with his little tail showing.

And this shows the back side of one of the Bunny Bookmarks with his little tail showing.

I found the idea on a blog post by A Thrifty Mom. She has instructions for her version there. I modified my bookmark to include a bunny tail, because you just can’t have a bunny without its fuzzy little tail. All you need to get started is an envelope, scissors, colored paper, glue (I used glue stick) and a marker or black pen.

Bunny Bookmark holding my place in my book.

Bunny Bookmark holding my place in my book.

Enjoy, Candy

Great Compositions ~ Part 2

                                                              Part 2 ~ Using the Golden Mean in Compositions

The post, “Composition, Part 1,” was about the importance of creating a strong composition using the Golden Mean and how to  place and draw the lines of the Mean on the canvas before beginning to sketch.  In “Composition, Part 2,” placing the primary and secondary focal points and directional lines using the Golden Mean is explored.  Artists who know about and use the lines of the Golden Mean to place focal points and create dynamic movement in their paintings are able to subtly excite the viewer’s interest and entice them to come enjoy the highlights, motion and message of their paintings. This can ultimately result in a potential buyer’s appreciation of their artwork, and hence a sale.  

Roses with Golden Mean Composition Intersections

Roses with Golden Mean Intersections

This picture illustrates the Lines of the Mean superimposed over a painting of roses to demonstrate where the lines intersect in 4 quadrants (marked by dots) to create a scaffolding for Golden Mean composition. These intersections are prime locations to place focal points of light.  Also, it illustrates how, by placing additional focal areas and “eye-magnets” on  horizontal  and vertical lines, moving from the center outward and diminishing in distance as they reach the edges of the canvas, a comfortable feeling of balance and movement throughout the composition will result.

The dominant central focal point in the painting is the edge of the larger rose in the lower right quadrant of the Golden Mean.  This focal point catches the viewer’s eye at first glance and invites the viewer to notice the effects of light on the rose more than just seeing the rose as an object.  If the light is effectively placed on the Mean, the viewer will come back to that special spot over and over because it is the most natural location for their eyes to rest. This is the objective of Golden Mean composition.

The viewer’s attention will increase if one or two additional focal points are included on the lines of the Mean. The placement and intensity of the second and third focal points should be less prominent than the primary focal point, and the three focal points are best seen when they are organized as a triangle with all focal points placed on lines of the Golden Mean. Placing them in a triangular formation allows the viewer to move from the strongest focal point to the second and third focal point, which creates a circular movement which cycles the viewer’s attention throughout the painting.

Another way to create movement and interest within the painting using Golden Mean composition is to create eye-catching lines that guide the viewer’s eye in and around the painting, and from one focal point to other focal points. Throughout human history, our eyes have kept us alive and safe from harm by scanning and moving from place to place, focusing and refocusing on points of interest or potential danger.  This is the natural way we see.  A strong composition uses “eye magnets” or objects and effects that guide the viewer’s eyes from the secondary focal points back to the main focal point. The lines that lead our eyes can be created by adding lines, brushstrokes, shapes that are part of the scene, and color patterns  that establish direction, rhythm and unity throughout the composition. All of these directional additions are even more effective if placed on the lines of the Golden Mean.

When artists first apply the principles of Golden Mean composition to their artwork, they often find that this equation / tool that the early Masters used presents its own challenges and learning curve. It can be very frustrating, difficult, and time-consuming for artists who are unfamiliar with calculating equations and drawing lines on their canvas; then they have to deliberately use these lines to place their focal points, directional lines to create movement in their painting. With practice, patience and hard work, the Golden Mean will become a constructive and predictable tool to view and utilize the space on the canvas in ways that create a great composition.

For over 30 years, I have practiced and developed many techniques and tools that reveal the secrets of creating good paintings. Extraordinary artists continue learning new aspects of art while perpetually applying what they learn as they paint. There is nothing about being an artist that is easy. If you want it “easy,” you may be able to win a gold medal in a diving competition by performing a cannon ball dive from a low diving board into a shallow pool which would be the easiest level that an artist can aspire; or you can work hard to perform a perfect swan dive from a high diving board into a deep pool by learning to use the Golden Mean and achieve exceptional results painting great compositions.

                                                                                              ___________________________________________

Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of  the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world.  He has many collectors acquiring his paintings as investment internationally. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Lumunism and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American Style used to paint the Western Landscape.  He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon and Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

The post Great Compositions ~ Part 2 appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Earth Spirit Vessels

This Earth Spirit Vessel is titled, Awakening.

This Earth Spirit Vessel is titled Awakening. It contains 528 individually hand-folded pieces of paper. It now has a new home with some friends who collect art.

Each of my Earth Spirit Vessels is made from hundreds of pieces of hand-folded paper. Within 25 of the papers of each vessel are hand-calligraphed quotes, inspirations and prayers relating to the Mother Earth and Nature. Once folded and made a part of the vessel, these messages are not meant to be seen or read, but to be embodied into the spirit of the vessel itself.

Earth Spirit Vessel Chance Encounter, made from 530 pieces of hand folded paper, is now en route to Massachusetts to its new home.

Earth Spirit Vessel, Chance Encounter, made from 530 pieces of hand folded paper, is now en route to Cambridge, Massachusetts to its new home.

I include, with each vessel, a photo of the hand-calligraphed messages that are in that particular vessel.

These are the calligraphy quotes, prayers and inspirations that are folded within the Earth Spirit Vessel Chance Encounter

These are the calligraphy quotes, prayers and inspirations that are folded and included within the Earth Spirit Vessel Chance Encounter (above)

The paper I used for these three vessels is Hahnemühle Ingres. It is a mouldmade, high alpha sheet that is acid free and highly lightfast. That may seem highly technical, but what it all means is that it’s a beautiful archival paper that is not supposed to fade over time when exposed to light. It took me a while to find a paper that had all the qualities I wanted. It has a wonderful tooth and texture. I buy it in full sheets, 18 and 3/4″ by 24 and 3/4″ and cut it into the 2″ by 4″ pieces of paper that I fold 9 times to make the units that become my Earth Spirit Vessels.

Earth Spirit Vessel titled Wonder, contains 288 pieces of hand folded paper.

Earth Spirit Vessel titled Wonder, contains 288 pieces of hand folded paper.

Messages in some of the Earth Spirit Vessels.

Message – Healthy earth equals healthy inhabitants -

This type of folding is often referred to as Golden Venture origami or Chinese modular origami. It was made popular in 1993 when a group of illegal Chinese refugees arrived on the ship “Golden Venture.” They were held in an American prison while waiting for their immigration trials. While in prison they began making traditional Chinese folded models using materials such as magazine covers. These models were sold at charity fund raisers. The resulting media coverage of the refugees helped to popularize this type of folding worldwide.

Message - Nature does nothing uselessly - Aristotle

Message – Nature does nothing uselessly – Aristotle

Most of the Golden Venture origami I saw was of traditional forms like dragons, swans and boats. I have always loved baskets, boxes and other containers. I decided I wanted to see if I could use this form of folding to make vessels. At the same time, I started learning to play the Native American Flute. As I combined the meditative processes of playing the flute and folding the paper, I decided I wanted to incorporate the feeling of both together into vessels. This is how my Earth Spirit Vessels came into being.

This is my drafting table with one of my Earth Spirit vessels beginning to be formed.

This is my drafting table with one of my Earth Spirit vessels beginning to be formed.

I have a few Earth Spirit Vessels on display at the Hilltop Gallery in Ashland, Oregon. I am happy to say that I took them three vessels on Sunday and they sold two of them within just a few hours. I posted the photos  of the sold vessels on Facebook and received commissions for two more. It makes me very happy to find other people loving these vessels as I do. It takes me a week or more to make each vessel (I can only do so much folding a day), so guess what I will be doing for the next several weeks.

Enjoy, Candy